Fenwick      63
M. McAuley 49

A couple of three pointers to start the final quarter was all the Fenwick girls basketball team needed to hand Mother McAuley a 63-49 loss and advance to meet Whitney Young in the Class 4A Sectional Championship on Thursday (Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m.).

The Friars (28-5) led by seven to start the fourth, but broke Monday night’s game open with quick three-pointers by Tricia Liston and Serafina Nuzzo. Liston returned to action after sitting out Fenwick’s 54-45 victory over cross-town rival OPRF in the Queen of Peace Regional Championship on Feb. 19. The 6-foot-1 junior didn’t start but came in three minutes into the game. She finished with 16 points and six rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth. Fellow junior Katlyn Payne led the Friars with 23 points, 10 of which came in the final quarter. Nuzzo added 12 points.

Fenwick had a 29-23 advantage at halftime and never relinquished the lead in the second half.

Sarah Garcia led Mother McAuley with 12 points, while Sophia Newson added 10 points to along with her nine rebounds.

The Friars also had to rally late against OPRF. Nuzzo scored nine of her 12 points in that game during the fourth quarter as the Friars outscored their rival 24-13. Fenwick had trailed 35-33 going into the final stanza. Payne led Fenwick with 21 points.

Brittany Smith led the Huskies with 17 points, while Gabby Cole added 10 points. OPRF, which graduates eight players, closed out the season with an overall record of 16-15.

A win over the top-ranked Dolphins (31-1) on Thursday night would advance Fenwick into the St. Xavier Super-sectional March 2 to take on the winner of the Thornton-Fractional North Sectional.

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...